The simple way to get better at design

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Design, by its very nature, is there to be judged. We do it every day—whether it’s our own creation, or that of someone else. When we see something, we’re looking at it and forming an opinion (positive or negative).

So, those of us who do this type of work for a living do understand that it’s all part of the gig. Clients will of course give their opinions about what we have created for them. Our job is generally two-fold:

  • Communicate with the client as to why we made specific design choices and back up our methods with supporting evidence. For example, perhaps a client doesn’t like the placement of a search field. You might point out that you placed it in that particular spot as research shows more users will utilize the feature.
  • Make sure you’ve done your best to ensure the client’s happiness with your work. Whether they come around to your way of thinking or not, you still need to put forth your best effort to help them achieve their goal.

There’s a certain amount of give-and-take in the design process when working with a client. But that’s to be expected when you’ve been hired by someone to represent their brand.

However, in recent times, designers have also become subject to another kind of criticism: one they voluntarily sign up for.

PUTTING YOUR WORK ON DISPLAY FOR THE DESIGN COMMUNITY

Beyond the usual client feedback, there are “community critique” websites. Many designers are choosing to submit their work to sites like Behance or Awwwards – places where the community at large (and a jury in the case of Awwwards) can offer both critique and some creative inspiration.

Both communities, although a bit different in methodology, are quite popular. Behance is run by Adobe and is completely free to use. Besides websites, they also feature varied types of media such as photography, architecture and fashion. You can upload your work via their site or directly from Photoshop CC. Community members can vote up and comment on submitted works, while Behance curators create featured galleries showing the best of the best.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

New fifth-gen Apple TV 2016 release date & features rumours: ‘Something bigger’ on the way for Apple TV, says Tim Cook | Apple TV 5 launch rumoured for late 2016

New Apple TV release date & new features rumours

When will Apple release the next Apple TV – the fifth-generation Apple TV – in the UK? And what new features, tech specs and design changes should we expect from the new 5G Apple TV for 2016 or 2017?

The fourth-gen Apple TV – the first Apple TV device to allow users to install apps – was unveiled by Apple at the iPhone 6s launch event on 9 September 2015, and went onsale weeks later. Nearly a year later, we’re looking ahead to the launch of the next, fifth-gen (5G) Apple TV. Indeed, there are already rumours that a next-generation Apple TV might arrive in late 2016, although Apple could also be waiting until next year to release a special 10th-anniversary model.

In this article we gather all the evidence related to the fifth-gen Apple TV’s launch date, as well as reporting on all the rumours and clues about the 2016 Apple TV’s new features, tech specs and design changes. However, if you’re (understandably) still interested in the Apple TV that’s available right now, we’ve got plenty of information about the 2015 Apple TV, including pricing and the best places to buy.

Updated, 27 July 2016, to discuss Tim Cook’s enigmatic comments about the future of the Apple TV at Apple’s Q3 financial results call.

New Apple TV 2016 release date rumours: When will Apple release the 5th-gen Apple TV?

Our money is on autumn 2016, although Apple may choose to hold it back until the start of 2017 and make more of the product’s 10th anniversary.

Here’s when the four generations of Apple TV launched:

  • 1st-gen Apple TV: January 2007
  • 2nd-gen Apple TV: September 2010
  • 3rd-gen Apple TV: March 2012
  • 4th-gen Apple TV: September 2015

Evidently, Apple updates its Apple TV less often than its iPhones, iPads and Macs: there was a three-and-a-half-year wait between the first and second models, and between the third and fourth. Based on that, it would be reasonable to expect the 5G Apple TV to appear in 2018 or even 2019, and we certainly don’t have firm evidence to dispute that.

But our instincts tell us that the Apple TV’s position and status in the company’s portfolio of products has changed. It used to be a sideline and a hobby, but with the growing importance of streaming media and smart-home applications, and with the arrival on the platform of games and its own App Store, Apple TV is moving to centre stage.

And we’re not the only ones to think Apple is likely to start updating the TV more frequently from now on.

A report (link for subscribers only) in DigiTimes last year predicted that the fifth-generation Apple TV would go into trial production as early as December 2015, with volume production starting in the first quarter of 2016. Changes were said to include a dramatically improved hardware performance and new functions “to help it no longer serve only as a set-top box”.

Q3 2016 earnings call comments: ‘Something bigger’ on the way

Tim Cook made some non-specific but intriguing comments about the future of the Apple TV at Apple’s Q3 2016 earnings conference call. He made it very clear that Apple has big plans for its TV division, and plans to build “something bigger” with the product and surrounding ecosystem.

Near the end of the hour-long call, a question was posed by Kulbinder Garcha, the managing director of Credit Suisse:

“I think about some of the comments you’ve made about the TV market and how it’s been stuck in the sixties and seventies, and the experience hasn’t changed,” Garcha said. “I understand that you’ve got the Apple TV box out, but in terms of driving actual video-on-demand services, is that something Apple wants to do themselves, do you want to partner, could you even build content? How do you think about that as an actual business opportunity, as opposed to, here’s an Apple box and we sell some units but it’s not that meaningful to the overall company in terms of size?”

Tim Cook’s reply was enigmatic.

“The introduction of Apple TV and tvOS in last October and the subsequent OS releases and what’s coming out this fall… think of that as building the foundation for what we believe can be a broader business over time,” he said.

“I don’t want to be more precise than that but you shouldn’t look at what’s there today and think we’ve done what we want to do. We’ve built a foundation that we can do something bigger off of.”

New Apple TV release date: WWDC 2016 and tvOS 10

Back in spring we argued that the 5G Apple TV was unlikely to be launched at WWDC 2016, since the event came round less than a year after Apple rolled out the fourth-gen model and none of the previous Apple TVs had launched in summer. Indeed, Apple launched no new hardware at the event whatsoever. But the new version of the Apple TV’s operating system, tvOS 10, got considerable stage time. As we often observe when discussing new iPhones and iPads, many of the most significant updates come not from new hardware but from free software updates.

Siri gets some big improvements in tvOS’s new update: it can now search the Apple TV’s movie and TV database with more complex queries. It can search YouTube, too, and any live streaming channels can be launched by saying “watch” and then the name of the channel. There’s a new dark mode for Apple TV, which makes the background black instead of the bright white we’re used to. And the Apple TV Remote app has been redesigned; it now offers all the Siri remote features and can be used for Siri queries using the built-in mic.

(Speaking of the Remote app, did you know that there’s a SiriMote app that’s been designed to let you control your Mac with an Apple TV Siri Remote? You’ll be able to use the app and Siri Remote together to control playback on your Mac, but accordingto Apple Insider the setup is difficult. The app is free and works with El Capitan. You can download it from Eternal Storms at eternalstorms.at.)

One last thing Apple didn’t mention, but has since come to light in Apple support documents, is that the requirement for Siri Remote compatibility for Apple TV games has been relaxed. That means they can focus on MFi game controllers, which are much more game-friendly than the Siri remote. See: Best Apple TV game controllers.

Read our Complete guide to tvOS’s new features for more information on the software update.

New Apple TV release date: 10th-anniversary Apple TV

Looking again at those launch dates above, we feel like the looming tenth anniversary of the Apple TV might be a tempting occasion for a big update. Apple tends to dislike historical wallowing – famously refusing to build a museum in its new headquarters because “we’re focused on the future, not the past” – but there is a precendent for an anniversary product in the form of the Twentieth Anniversary Mac (number 4 in our article The 5 weirdest Macs of all time).

 

[Source: Macworld]

Microsoft’s growth mindset is changing the way its products are sold

Microsoft fans all across the world very much well know Microsoft’s mission statement: to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Very much so, it appears now that this mission statement and growth mindset has also left an impact on the Redmond giant’s products and sales strategies.

Judson Altoff, President of Microsoft North America, was one of the speakers atEnvision 2016’s conference, and at the event, he remarked to Envision Attendees on a change at the sales force at Microsoft. As per remarks published on ZDnet, Altoff mentioned that Microsoft has been learning to eliminate the separation between how they are traditionally market sold, and serviced. He also detailed that Microsoft is selling more and more of its products as subscription services and that the sales team needs to go beyond just selling a customer on something one time.  In addition, he also remarked that Microsoft is moving the focus off of the technology alone, and more towards how customers can and should use the technology.

“Your focus needs to be on who’s actually figured out how to attach more Xbox controllers and games to every console sale? Who’s actually figured out how to sell their customers machine learning and data science projects running on Azure? Who’s actually figured out how to get customers to see value out of the increase utilization of Skype for Business and greater connectedness and collaboration on your environments,” Altoff said.

Additional comments from Altoff published in ZDnet also appear to suggest that Microsoft has been empowering its fans, via “fan creation.” Altoff is quoted as saying,

“Happy product advocates trump indifferent users. Sales needs to make sure that customers aren’t just using their products, but they’re actually happy about doing so because they’re getting value out of it.”

The comments from Altoff are together very interesting and seem to show that Microsoft has been taking steps to making overall changes to better live up to its goal of empowering the planet. We would love to hear your thoughts on these comments, so please drop us a comment below and sound off on the situation!

 

 

[Source:- Winbeta]